Landes's work focused on entrepreneurship and economic development, particularly on the issue of "the rise of the West." He came to Harvard University in 1964, where he remained throughout his career, retiring in 1997 as Coolidge Professor of History and Professor of Economics. Among his many works are
Landes can be seen discussing The Wealth and Poverty of Nations on C-Span in 1998; The American Interest has made available his 2008 interview with Francis Fukuyama as well as his essay on Max Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
- Bankers and Pashas: International Finance and Economic Imperialism in Egypt (Harvard University Press, 1958) (which originated as his 1953 Harvard doctoral dissertation)
- The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 1969)
- Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World (Harvard University Press, 1983)
- The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Are Some So Rich and Others So Poor? (W. W. Norton, 1998)
Comments on his passing can be found here (Brad DeLong), here (Richard Langlois), here (Michael Collins Dunn)m and here (Davis Dyer).